chapter  4
20 Pages

Aspirants

This chapter focuses on the particular position of the aspirant and novice creative worker at the threshold of a creative career. Novices' talk is of interest because they are at a transition point which requires them to take up new identities. People analyze their talk as a site in which such identities are constructed, claimed and negotiated. A prevalent misinterpretation of the notion of discursive construction is that talk is infinitely flexible and speakers are free to construct or claim any identity they want. One established resource given local associations by participants' own experiences in schools was the contrasting categorization of subjects and people as either 'academic', or else 'creative' or artistic. This resource was frequently invoked by speakers when constructing retrospective accounts of their school experiences, and their analyses indicated the resource facilitated some speakers' claims to creative identification but posed challenges for some others.